Spring and summer months are a time of camping, vacations, and, of course, barbecues. These fun social outings can be a challenge and a stress for those who suffer from food allergies.
If you are one of the thousands who suffer with allergies, read on for some tips on keeping your barbecues as safe and enjoyable as possible.
- Avoid sharing anything. This includes: food preparation areas, cooking surfaces, platters, and utensils. This will limit the potential for cross contamination.
- Consider hidden ingredients in any of the foods you plan to consume. Hamburgers often contain eggs, dressings may have milk, and sauces often contain soy. Ask lots of questions and read food labels.
- Communicate your allergies. Food allergies should never be a secret. Wear a medical ID bracelet, always carry epinephrine with you, and teach others how to use it in case you are not able to.
- Bring your own food. If you think that your allergies will be lurking at the barbecue, pack up your own food to stay safe. You might consider bringing a potluck item so that others can enjoy an allergen friendly option with you.
- If you plan to purchase your own burger, try some of these allergen-friendly options: Amy’s, Asherah’s Gourmet, Big Mountain Organic, Hillary’s Eat Well, Qrunch, or Sunshine Burgers.
- Looking for a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free bun? Try: Rudi’s Bakery, Udi’s Bakery, Oroweat/Arnold/Brownberry, or Ener-G. These manufacturers have a number of varieties that eliminate many of the above allergens.
- As for cheese, no need to forgo a cheese slice on your burger or shredded cheese in your salads. Alternatives are Follow Your Heart or Daiya.
- Watch those side dishes. Potato salads typically have mayonnaise, desserts often contain nuts or nut products, salad dressings may be dairy or soy based. Once again, ask questions or bring your own. When in doubt-do not consume. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Looking for a nut free dessert? Try Smores with Milk Chocolate Hershey Bars or many varieties of Blue Bell Ice Cream.
- Above all-enjoy yourself. Stay safe by asking lots of questions or by bringing your own food. Barbecues should be fun and enjoyable as long as you manage your allergies well.
If you have questions or food allergy concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Click here.